How would Jesus vote? – Report (18 July)

Tonight’s theme is ‘How would Jesus vote?’

But what we’re not going to simply do is tell you who to vote for, but rather help us begin to think about the issues around the election, and in doing so take the election seriously.

Set up around the room are four stations ā€“ each focusing on a different element related to the election. Please take your time to reflect at each.

You’ll each be given a ‘ballot form’ to take with you. As you take it with you, record any thoughts you might have on what your role and responsibility is during the next few weeks, and beyond.

We’ll have an opening prayer, and then return here after 40 minutes or so (so about 10 minutes at each station or so). Return to this area when you’re done for one final activity.

Opening Prayer:

Loving God

Thank you for caring about how our country is run, and that we have the right to vote for our politicians and government.

But in the run-up to this general election there are so many policies to understand, and so many different points of view to consider –

sometimes I wonder whether there’s any point in voting, whether anyone cares what I think.

As I choose who I am going to vote for,

help me not to be cynical about politics and politicians,

help me to remember that my vote can make a difference,

and help me vote for those people who will protect the poor and vulnerable, and do all they can to make our nation a place of fairness and peace.

Because you call us to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with you, our God.

Amen.

Station 1 – What are we voting for?

Newspapers were spread across the altar and pens were provided.

What are the issues of our time that will determine our decisions at the ballot box?

What’s going on around us?

What’s important to us?

Which issues would Jesus have spoken about?

Look at the papers around you, and mark out the issues that will guide your decisions.

Station2 – Who are we voting for?

A video loop of a crowd scene was played.

Do we vote for ourselves or vote for others?

Who should we be ‘voting for’?

Consider how our vote can speak for both ourselves and others.

Station 3 – How do we want our world to look?

Paper and pencils were provided.

How could the world look after the election?

Will it be a better place or worse?

How can our vote make the world a better place?

For us. For others. For now. For the future.

Draw or write how you want the world to look.

Station 4 – How does Jesus fit into all this?

A laptop running various bible verses related to Jesus and political life were displayed on a loop.

What did Jesus say about politics and government?

What place does the Cross have in an election?

Do we vote as disciples of Christ? Do we vote as members of society?

Does it matter?

Reflect on the words of God before you and consider and pray what Jesus expects of us at this time.

Closing prayer

Heavenly Father

source of all truth and wisdom, who knows and loves the whole creation,

watch over our nation at election time:

that truth may prevail over distortion,

wisdom triumph over recklessness

and the concerns of every person be heard.

Lord Jesus,

who chose the way of the cross in the Garden of Gethsemane,

help us to turn our backs on self interest

and to support policies that sustain the poor, the vulnerable and the frightened people of this world.

Holy Spirit,

who brought understanding among myriad peoples and languages at Pentecost,

give to all your people a passion for peace

and inspire us to work for unity and co-operation throughout the world and in our political life together.

Amen.

Lord, we give thanks for the privileges and responsibilities of living in a democratic society.

Give us wisdom to play our part at election time, that, through the exercise of each vote, your Kingdom may come closer.

Protect us from the sins of despair and cynicism, guard us against the idols of false utopias and strengthen us to make politics a noble calling that serves the common good of all.

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord.

Amen.

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